Life was a little different for Marian Gaborik during the NHL lockout compared with his NHL Players' Association brethren.

Sure, there was uncertainty as to when he would play in an NHL game. But Gaborik concentrated on making sure his surgically repaired right shoulder would be ready as he rehabbed with the Rangers' medical staff.

"I feel good; my shoulder feels fine," the high-scoring Rangers right wing said Wednesday after joining his teammates on the ice for an informal skate one day after returning from his native Slovakia.

"To be back here, it's a very exciting time to get this done and start playing," Gaborik added. "It's going to be a hard 10 days until we start, but everybody has to get ready and jump into it."

Gaborik, who underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum on June 6, said he was medically cleared in mid-December. Training camp is expected to open Sunday after the NHL Board of Governors ratified the new collective bargaining agreement Wednesday and the NHLPA is widely expected to ratify it in an electronic vote on Friday and Saturday.

A 48-game schedule will begin on Jan. 19. The Rangers may play at Boston that night.

"I need to get some contact drills," Gaborik said. "There haven't been any game-like situations so it'll be a good test in camp."

Gaborik, 30, had 41 goals and 35 assists in 82 regular-season games as the Rangers finished first in the Eastern Conference, and added five goals and six assists in 20 playoff games as they advanced to the conference final. But Gaborik's shoulder injury limited him to just one goal and no assists in the Rangers' six-game loss to the Devils.